Our Imaginary World


Here in the West, we live in the most luxurious, benevolent society in history.  On a daily basis, most of our needs, wants and desires are fulfilled without any of us having to lift a finger.  (Well, that’s not strictly true: we do have to tap a screen or click a mouse.)  Our ancestors may have had to wake up in the morning, hunt, kill and cook their own breakfast, but our world isn’t built that way.  In fact, our survival is so totally guaranteed that the major activity of most folks west of the Vistula is the relentless pursuit of entertainment.  We spend hours playing video games, binge-watching television and scrolling along with that good old-fashioned standby, “surfing the Net.”  The problem is humans aren’t supposed to live in a virtual utopia.  As a species, we dominate this planet because the heart of our existence is adversity.  We need problems the way a shepherd needs sheep.  Without them, he’s just some guy sitting on his ass in a pasture, no purpose in life and no meaning.  A dismal existence at best.  So, when the most perplexing decision we make every day is which Netflix series when, we’ve started to make things up.  We’re manufacturing trouble, hardship and bother to satisfy an intrinsic need in our soul.  Here are just a couple of examples of imaginary difficulties we’ve created out of thin air.

Last week, some YouTube influencer broke up with her boyfriend.  No big deal: romantic drama is one of the high octane fuels we use for Cyberspace travel.  However, after the tears, a lot of emojis and changing her Facebook status, our girl discovered she had an even bigger problem.  She had no idea how to break the sad news to her cat.  That’s right – her cat!  Her concern was Fluffy (not the cat’s real name) would be devastated by the breakup, and she wanted to smooth over the emotional trauma.  Apparently, she’s been soliciting opinions over several social media platforms and, — here’s the weird part — people are trying to help with actual advice.

Meanwhile, in another part of the cyber-forest, there’s a growing concern that quite a few YouTube celebrities and reality TV stars (male and female) are being offered money (a lot of money) for sex.  These offers are coming through Social Media and are sparking a lot of debate over the nature of 21st century privacy, the liberties taken with celebrities and what exactly constitutes prostitution.  Fair enough, but seriously, money for sex is not a nuanced philosophical question.  It’s pretty straightforward: yes, let’s negotiate; and no, you’re an asshole —  end of story.  And, although one celeb who took the money called it “a targeted relationship that progresses over time,” most of the rest of us are under no such illusion.

And finally:

Last Monday was “Blue Monday” which, according to thousands of anonymous sources, is the saddest day of the year.  WTF?  Has our world become so emotionally bland we need to designate a day to crack out the Kleenex?”  In a more civilized time, this kinda crap would never even come up on the panel.  These days, we’re discussing it as if it were real.  It’s not.  And just for the record, Blue Monday was actually invented in 2005 by a vacation company called Sky Travel to sell — wait for it! – vacations.

Let’s Fix The World — Part 2

As I said on Tuesday, the world is a mess (“Let’s Fix The World”) but here are three more things that would fix the problem — if only we’d start thinking outside the box.

fix the world

Bring Back Bullies! — When we eliminated bullies from the classroom and the playground, we unintentionally created a bigger problem.  We produced an entire generation who a) don’t understand the world is full of nasty, evil bastards and b) don’t know how to handle them when they show up.  I’m lookin’ at you, Vladimir — or Donald ( whatever your pleasure.)  So, every time some pipsqueak Kim Jong-Un dick-tator starts waving his nuclear weapons around, the entire world has to come to a screaming halt while we try to figure out what to do with the guy.  This is a waste of time.  It would be far better to have the bullies show up in the first grade (like they used to) and we could learn how to deal with them long before it gets to nuclear-warfare-scary.  That way, we’re not playing around with these nutbars for years when we should be concentrating on serious things.

Build Some Useless Stuff — This isn’t my idea, but it’s brilliant.  What we do is take all the students coming out of university with worthless degrees (art history, media studies, leadership, philosophy etc., etc., etc.) and put them to work building a bunch of massive, useless monuments.  Things like Stonehenge or the Great Pyramid or the Great Wall of … uh — well — maybe a wall isn’t such a good idea — but, anyway, stuff like that.  This would keep these half-educated cretins so busy they wouldn’t have time to sit around bitchin’ about their lot in life, blaming the 1% and causing trouble on Facebook and Twitter.  And they’ll be too tired to be constantly yipping about “safe zones” and “cultural appropriation” and why we have to change the he/she pronoun to some made up “ze” bullshit.  The result would be the rest of us could quit wasting a ton of time, trying to placate these malcontents — and we can get on with trying to solve the world’s real problems.  Plus, we’d get a pile of new roadside attractions for selfies and such.

Buy Things — It’s pretty obvious that our world is crap at solving problems.  Just take a look!  When we tried to feed Africa, we ended up with Sir Bob Geldof, stumbling around like a tramp looking for a hot meal.  When we tried to halt Global Warming, we ended up with Al Gore whose personal carbon footprint is the size of Milwaukee.  And now that we’re trying to solve the refugee crisis, who do we find on the front line? George Clooney and Susan Sarandon!  (Why don’t we just ask Sean Penn to run the UN and get it over with?)  However, there is one thing our consumer society does extremely well: we know how to buy stuff.  We need to use this ability to our advantage.  For example, if we’re serious about saving the African White Rhinoceros, why don’t we just buy them all?  (There can’t be that many left.)  We buy them all, stamp them with “Property of …” and hire a bunch of Los Angeles policemen to look after them.  Poachers might be mean and ruthless, but there’s nothing on this planet meaner than the LAPD!  And, honestly, how much would it cost?  The EU spends 100 billion Euros every year on foreign aid: a few rhinos would be a drop in the bucket.  Another example.  Want to end poverty in Mali?  Buy it!  Then send a couple of boatloads of  liberal arts graduates (from item #2) over there to build pyramids, and you’d probably get your initial investment back in a couple of years from tourism alone.  This could work for everything from saving the rain forest to stopping the cocaine trade.  Plus, if we just use the money Western politicians waste every year, nobody’s going to feel the financial pinch.  So this year we buy all the whales and tell the Japanese and Norwegians to go hang; two years from now, we buy all the heroin in the world and burn it in the Libyan desert — because we bought that the year before.

Actually, the sky’s the limit.  All we have to do is quit wasting our time and think about it.


Let’s Fix The World!

fix the world

Let’s face it, folks!  We’re screwed — like totally.  Western society is in an unholy hole, and every time some bright-bulb-somebody shows up with a shovel and tries to fix things, they just end up digging us in a little deeper.  In my lifetime, the poor have gotten poorer, the hungry have gotten hungrier and the homeless have gotten — uh — well, you can’t actual get any homelesser, but given the wretched state of things, they probably would be — if it were at all possible.  The point is, we need to do something — yesterday — or we’re going to find out rock bottom has a basement.  Unfortunately, our world has been hijacked by stupid people.  We all know there’s no cure for stupid, but with a little ingenuity, we can limit the ability of these morons to control the agenda.  This is not a quick fix, and it could take a generation or two to get things under control, but if we act now there’s still time to save our society.  Here are three things we need to do immediately, or the next voice we’re going to hear is President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho from Idiocracy, declaring war on asparagus.

1 — We need to make people take a test (and pass it!) before they’re allowed to vote.  Here’s the deal: plumbers have to take a test (and pass it) before they’re allowed to play around with your sewer pipes; electricians have to take a test before they’re allowed to install a light switch; even cab drivers have to take a test before their allowed to drive you home from the bar.  Yet, when it comes to politics and selecting the folks who are actually going to run the world, we abandon all due diligence and let every dumbass who can make an ‘X’ have a say — an equal say, BTW.  No wonder most of our leaders have nice hair, good teeth and no brains.

2 — We need to make people who want to become parents go to Parenting School.  Here’s the deal: if you want to be a teacher and teach kids, you have to go to school.  If you want to open a Day Care and look after kids, you have to go to school.  Hell, in some places if you want to be an occasional babysitter — you have to go to school.  Yet, if you want to become a parent and be totally — 100% — responsible for a helpless child’s comfort, nutrition, safety and education, their physical, psychological, moral and spiritual wellbeing, and work diligently 24/7 for 18 years (without a day off) to turn them into responsible adults — all you have to do is have one too many tequilas, let a foot massage get out of hand and 9 months later — Shazam! — you’re a parent.  Does this make any sense?  Letting a bunch of people who haven’t got a clue about life have kids and pass their cluelessness on to the next generation is what’s exponentially killing our society.

But first — before we do all that:

3 — We need to take the warning labels off everything.  This is Darwinism at its best, and it might be exactly what our world needs right now.